Statue to stand on stones and sand from Anzac Cove

STONES and sand from Anzac Cove are being sent to Australia to form part of the beach on which the Maryborough statue of the first Anzac ashore at Gallipoli will stand.

Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell said that the Brisbane Turkish Consulate General in Brisbane, Turgut Allahmanli, had arranged for the symbolic stones and sand to be sent from Gallipoli and placed in Queens Park.

"Mr Turgut's quick and enthusiastic response to our request was symbolic of the extraordinary relationship that developed between Australia and Turkey after the events at Gallipoli 100 years ago."

Cr O'Connell has been part of a small committee that in three months raised funds from the community for the statue of Duncan Chapman, the Maryborough lieutenant who was the first Anzac to set foot on the beach of what would become known as Anzac Cove.

He wrote from the Gallipoli trenches "To me was given the extreme honour of being actually the first man to put foot ashore on this peninsula, to lead a portion of the men in that now historic charge up the hill.

"What a living hell it was too, and how I managed to go through it from four o'clock in the morning of Sunday, the 25th April, to Wednesday, the 28th, under fire the whole time, without being hit, is a mystery to me."

The first words will be etched into the concrete representation of the beach in front of the statue, which will be unveiled to the public at a "Dawn of the Anzacs" tribute in sound and light at 5.15am on April 24. The tribute will be replayed the following morning at 5.15am, leading into the traditional Anzac Day dawn service at the Queen's Park cenotaph.

Duncan Chapman, born and raised in Maryborough, was a lieutenant when he stepped ashore from the first of three 9th Battalion boats at dawn on April 15, 1915. He was promoted to captain the next day. After surviving Gallipoli he went to the Western Front as a major and was killed at Pozieres.

The statue is the first stage of a memorial designed to include the three 9th Battalion row boats, a representation of the cliffs of Anzac Cove and a trench leading past a memorial of Pozieres to Queen's Park war memorial.